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Can Your Retina Detach?

Can Your Retina Detach?

The retina, a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye, normally sits flush to the structures behind it. However, certain circumstances can cause it to pull away from its normal position—this is known as retinal detachment and is a medical emergency. The condition can be partial or complete, with both causing some level of visual disturbances or vision loss.

All About Retinal Detachment

  •     Retinal detachment: the causes
  •     Retinal detachment: the different types
  •     Detached retina symptoms

Retinal detachment: the causes

The most common cause of retinal detachment is when the vitreous—the jelly-like substance within the eye—undergoes changes that make it pull away from the retina (the thin layer of light-receptive cells as the back of the eye). This usually occurs without issue but, in some cases, it pulls hard enough to tear the retina. This can cause an immediate retinal detachment or leaves a small hole or tear through which fluid can pass. This can then accumulate behind the retina and push it away from the back of the eye.This can occur spontaneously or because of trauma to the eye.

Retinal detachment: the different types

There are three different types of retinal detachment:

  1.     Rhegmatogenous: The most common kind, this happens when fluid passes through a tear and pools behind the retina, causing it to detach from the underlying tissues. This type is most usually caused by the aging process.
  2.     Tractional: If scar tissue grows on the surface of the retina this can cause it to pull away from the back of the eye, something that’s typically seen in those with poorly controlled diabetes.
  3.     Exudative: Caused by an accumulation of fluid beneath the retina, but without a tear for it to pass through. Generally occurs because of eye trauma, tumors, age-related macular degeneration, or various inflammatory disorders.

Detached retina symptoms

While the condition itself doesn’t cause any pain, it has typical symptoms. These are:-       The sudden appearance of flashes of light in one or both eyes-       A sudden appearance or increase in floaters-       A dark curtain-like shadow moving across your line of sight-       Blurred vision While such symptoms might not necessarily mean you have a detached retina, if you experience them you should seek immediate medical attention.

Risk Factors and Treatment

  •     Risk factors for retinal detachment
  •     How retinal detachment is treated

Risk factors for retinal detachment

While the condition can happen at any time, the risk increases as you age. Other factors include:-       A family history of retinal detachment-       A previous occurrence of retinal detachment-       You’ve had an eye operation (for example, cataract surgery)(-       You’ve had an injury to the eye-       You suffer from specific medical conditions, such as inflammatory disorders, a tumor, age-related macular degeneration, or poorly controlled diabetes

How retinal detachment is treated

There are different ways retinal detachment is treated. This will depend on the extent of the detachment and whether a tear is diagnosed before detachment occurs. Tears can be treated with laser or cryotherapy to seal the retina, but detachment generally requires surgery. Your ophthalmologist will assess your condition and instigate the most appropriate treatment.While all surgery comes with risks, an untreated retinal detachment almost always results in severe vision loss or blindness. This is why it’s vital to get immediate treatment should you experience any symptoms. Treated early, there is a high chance of success, but the longer a detachment is allowed to progress the less likely it is that vision can be restored. Regular eye exams will pick up any small holes or tears that can be treated before a detachment occurs.

Partner with the WBEC for Emergency and Routine Eye Care

Based in Boca Raton, the West Boca Eye Center is a leading facility headed by highly regarded eye surgeon, Brent Bellotte MD. Revered by his peers for his cutting-edge work in areas, such as laser vision correction and cataract surgery, this academic-grade eye hospital is a one-stop-shop for every element of eye health.Whether you need emergency treatment for a detached retina, the latest laser vision surgery, glaucoma treatment, or any other aspect of eye care (including routine eye exams), the WBEC is the ultimate location for those who demand the very best care for their precious eyesight. Find out more and get in touch via

Can Your Retina Detach?
Can Your Retina Detach?

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